A senior member of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) used PayPal and fake eBay transactions to send money to an alleged operative of the terrorist group in the U.S., according to an affidavit disclosed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, WSJ reports. "This case demonstrates how terrorists exploit modern technology to inculcate sympathizers and build hidden networks, but federal agents and prosecutors are working tirelessly and using every available lawful tool to disrupt their evil schemes", then U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said at the time, hinting at Elshinawy's alleged use of Ebay.
The Maryland resident, who's in his 30s and allegedly pledged his loyalty to ISIS, got the money from a company run by a Syria-based member of ISIS named Siful Sujan. Sujan was killed in a drone strike in 2015.
He pleaded guilty to supporting the jihadist group and is awaiting trial.
He admitted to investigators that he was told to use the funds for terror attacks in the USA, but claimed he never planned to carry one out.
Elshinawy received $8,700 through fake printer sales to buyers in the ISIS orbit, according to an Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit that was just unsealed.
Responding to the report, an eBay spokesman told the New York Daily News that "eBay has zero tolerance for criminal activity on our marketplace and we worked with law enforcement to bring this individual to justice".
The U.S. and other countries for years since 9/11 have focused on the formal global banking systems that terror networks might use to transfer money to would-be terrorists. The friend connected him to an unidentified ISIS operative in Egypt, who transferred the first batch of funds to him in June of that year. Records of their conversations, which were held in Arabic, show that he pledged allegiance to ISIS on February 17, 2015.